Dr. Eslambolchi Top 10 Technology Trends (2017)

As we begin a New Year, I would like to share with my followers the list of predictions for top 10 technology trends for 2017 as I did for 2016.

The time for new ideas is upon us to continue to drive digital economy into 21st century, given; massive revolution in social media coupled with Augmented and Virtual Reality, much more powerful processors accelerating 4K based streaming for over 50% of the videos across the globe, wireless spectrum insufficiency to provide the future needs of mobile applications along with cyber security – both at end points and in the network.

The new innovations should focus on improving the environment, and health and safety of the people on the planet instead of building toys. These innovations will have some major positive attributes as well as some challenges, which we need to consider. The world around is rife with problems that require innovative technology to deal with challenges to the environment such as scarcity of clean water and rising death toll due to inadequate food supplies and clean water. To achieve these objectives, the network must evolve to support: smart edge devices to collect and analyze data from the surrounding environment, and act; dynamic information transport, which provides access to global and locally available information using commercially available devices and systems and; dynamic computing, where the computing infrastructure learns from current requirements and anticipates future needs to dynamically deploy applications and information on demand or in response to changes.

So, here is my top 10 technology trends list for 2017:

1. Bespoke Internet™ – The evolution of modern connectivity is often defined by the internet (world-wide web), smart edge devices (smart mobile phones and Internet of Things), and big data/the cloud For the next stage, it seems inevitable that even more personalization will be an important component. What we refer to as the internet of things will be central. However, more than simply connecting humans with devices, the next stage in connectivity will include “humanized” interfaces that constantly evolve and adapt to understand the user’s patterns and needs and, in a sense, self-optimize. This would include the functions and features on our devices, as well as the selection/curation of information we receive. It may not be the kind of artificial intelligence found in science fiction, but I expect this injection of personalization will bring monumental changes as our level of connectivity continues to grow. In addition, I do believe the use of natural language understanding as an enabler for meaningful conversations with these devices, will emerge. This will ultimately be seen in more successful voice and text interactions and importantly, across multiple languages – not so English centric. Major advancements in accuracy will occur in 2017 and beyond, changing the entire human interface to the Internet and make it lot more accurate and personalized.

2. AutomationSystems & Autonomous Operations – This trend is nothing new, but the next five years will be transformative for IT automation, from opportunistic to systemic implementation. Almost all industry segments ranging from fast food to banking to health care are evaluating, designing and deploying autonomous systems. Managers and IT professionals must have the capability to employ, manage and defend against attacks by individual and/or teams that can act under human or automated control. The automated capabilities may include management and protection of communications and information networks. Autonomous operations require fewer individuals to manage, control and operate a significantly higher number of operational assets.

There are banks today that use heuristic automation because they have all the hardware that you could want. But they lack the ability to automatically place workloads that best at any given moment. Start down the heuristic path by appointing an automation leader in IT, automating script discovery and rewarding administrators for building resilient, structured scripts. In addition, although I am high on robots including AI, I believe next year will be another major innovative year around robotics and AI in almost every vertical in the industry.

3. Software-defined everythingSoftware-defined means the control plane is abstracted from the hardware, and it’s going on with every piece of equipment a data center can buy. Software-defined servers are established, software-defined networking is maturing and software-defined storage won’t have much impact until at least till late 2017 – Please Don’t approach software-defined everything as a cost saving venture, because the real point is agility. Avoid vendor lock-in in this turbulent vendor space, and look for interoperable application programming interfaces that enable data-center-wide abstraction. Also, keep in mind that the legacy data center won’t die without a fight. Actually, the whole notion of SDN was invented by ATT Labs back in the 80s where the voice plane was separate from control plane into what we called SS7 with almost 6 nines of reliability and worked so well and simplified entire operation of services ATT offered even as of today – The concept here for IP is not any different and there is no doubt in my mind, it will happen in a very near future.

4. Big Streaming data & Analytics – Big streaming data analysis is used in a number of ways to solve problems today. For example, police departments reduce crime without blanketing the city with patrol cars, by pinpointing likely crime hot spots at a given point in time based on real-time and historical data. The industry will also build new data architectures to handle unstructured data and real-time input, which are disruptive changes today. The biggest inhibitor to enterprise IT adoption of big data analytics, however, isn’t the data architecture; it’s a lack of big data skills. In addition, there will be some major innovation on technologies to use the big data for accelerating Big Data/ML computations as well.

5. Mobility & Wireless – Your workforce is mobile. Your company’s customers are mobile. Bring your own device has morphed into bring your own toys. The IT service desk can’t fall behind this trend and risk giving IT a reputation of being out of touch. Bring data segregation — personal and business data and applications isolated from each other on the same device — onto your technology roadmap now. On wireless side, we will see the start of 5G implementation even with small set of spectrum, increasing speeds that can be in excess of 1Gbps without violating Shannon’s laws of physics which is astonishing and it will also pave the way to move to 6G by end of 2030 with speeds uncommon to any understanding of game changer technology in next decade especially with 4K, moving to 8K UHD contents.

6. Cyber-offense and cyber-defense capacities will increaseGiven my own prediction about a decade ago that the issue of cyber security will become a problem of biblical proportions and though just recently the finger print and forensics shows Russia were and perhaps even more so engaged in cyber espionage, I do believe the theme of always saying “Russia Did it”, we need to think about it in a different way I call it “80% of the people or nations state on the planet can do it” and one just needs to have the skills set given most of the codes are available on line but it is forensics that determines which country hacked any other system in any other country on the planet and this perhaps may be called Cyber Espionage war in 21st century and given I am not political rather than technical, I highly recommend that a legislation/law is needed in US and creating better partnership with private businesses to help alleviate the pain, though there is absolutely no silver bullet on this topic for as long as we are alive and even with over 1200+ companies just in US alone working on Cyber Security, how come all of the attacks still happens. I highly encourage this issue to be paid more attention than ever before in 2017 and beyond.

In addition, we will see an increased rate of sharing of cyber capabilities between the commercial and government spaces as I stated above which would be essential in my vision to protect any IP on this planet. Commercial threat intelligence capabilities will also need be adopted more broadly by organizations and corporations … High performance computing (HPC), in conjunction with adaptive machine learning (ML) capabilities, will be an essential part of network flow processing because forensic analysis can’t stop an impending attack. HPC + adaptive ML capabilities will be required to implement real-time network event forecasting based on prior network behavior and current network operations… [Companies will] use HPC and adaptive ML to implement real-time behavior and pattern analysis to evaluate all network activity based on individual user roles and responsibilities to identify potential individuals within an organization that exhibit “out of the ordinary” tendencies with respect to their use of corporate data and application access. – In addition, new innovative techniques will need to be provided to minimize attacks such as Ransom, extortion and fighting hijacking.

Lastly on this trend I stated above, if corporations and Governments across the world do not pay more attention to this topic and as I predicted in my 2004 speech, this problem will become of major and biblical proportions as we have seen some of the impacts already in US just in 2016 and we will see more in 2017 until some major actions are taken in very near future. As infamous philosopher and former New York Yankees manager once said, “we Ain’t Seen Nothin Yet” as these attacks will get not only more sophisticated but even more complex and no computing system on the planet with over 50B devices projected to be connected to Internet can easily solve the cyber security problem especially when we are IPV6 world in near future for every computer unless we start using Quantum Computing which at this point in time, one needs to have a nuclear power plant to cool the system down as size of the data grows exponentially on our Internet and no one and I mean no one ever thought about reliability and cyber security when Internet was born almost 40 years ago, though through hard work of everyone on the industry, at least reliability is far better than ever and even close to circuit switching systems but cyber security was never taken seriously up until couple of decades ago and though major progress have been made, but I do believe we have a lot yet to go and accomplish in years or even decades to come.

7. Internet of things no longer about things – Just about every business will become an internet of things (IoT) business. The convergence of the digital and physical worlds makes this inevitable. IoT has to evolve beyond just a data collection device to two-way devices where it acts/reacts to changes in the surrounding environment based on data collected in conjunction with dynamic computing at the device or data center. When the products companies sell are connected 24/7/365, dynamic and ever-improving value can be delivered to customers. Therefore, launching a successful IoT business requires a fundamental shift, a transition from product-centric to service-centric business models. Companies looking to capitalize on IoT will become IoT service businesses. Operations dependent on one-time product sales will become obsolete as business value moves from products to the experiences they enable. This transformation will fundamentally change how businesses operate, interact with customers and make money. Those who recognize that IoT isn’t about things but about service will be positioned to meet these new customer demands, unlock new sources of revenue and thrive in this connected world.

8. Data-driven healthcareThe amount of data available in the world is growing exponentially, and analyzing large data sets (so-called big data) is becoming key for market analysis and competition. Analytics will dramatically shift away from reporting and towards predictive and prescriptive practices, dramatically improving the ability of healthcare providers to help the ill and injured. Even more importantly, it will create the possibility for truly personalized healthcare by allowing providers to impact the biggest determinants of health, including behaviors, genetics and environmental factors. I also believe the AR and VR will be major components of establishing standards of care across the world given the growth of IOT based technologies and Nano-Based technologies which focus on sensors, sensors and sensors – In essence, we will be mainly sensor world though by end of the decade but major progress beyond one can imagine will be innovated in 2017 alone.

9. New cures from the bacteria that live in the human body In life sciences, we’ll have greater understanding of the dynamics of how our microbiome – the tiny organisms, including bacteria, that live in the human body – influences multiple systems in our body, including our immune systems, metabolic processes and other areas. This will result in seminal discoveries related to a variety of conditions, including autoimmune diseases, pre-term birth and how our metabolism is regulated. Regenerative medicine approaches to creating new tissues and organs from progenitor cells will expand significantly. Finally, the long-awaited ability to employ precision medicine, providing specific treatments to a specific-patients, will become much more common – Include AR and VR for Medical World.

10. Web Scale IT For better or worse, business leaders want to know why you can’t do what Google, and Amazon do. Conventional hardware and software are not built for web scale IT, which means this trend relies on software-defined everything and open philosophies like the Open Compute Project. It also relies on a major attitude adjustment in IT where experimentation and failure are allowed.

Dr. Eslambolchi

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